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July 2014 India Festivals and Events Guide

What's On in India in July

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The monsoon fun continues in India in July. Kerala is an excellent place to participate in it. A number of colorful religious festivals also take place all over India during July.

Here's the best of events in July in India (listed by date).

1. Ramadan

Premshree Pillai/ Flickr/CC BY NC SA 2.0
The holy Muslim month of Ramadan is a fantastic opportunity to feast on fresh street food. During Ramadan, Muslims traditionally fast daily from sunrise until sunset. In the evenings, the streets in traditional Muslim areas are flooded with people and the tantalizing aroma of meat being freshly roasted to feed the famished. The revelry continues all night. Ramadan concludes with he festival of Eid-ul-Fitr, with more feasting and shopping.
  • When: June 28-July 28, 2014.
  • Where: See Mumbai and Delhi.

2. Amarnath Yatra

Ponies and pilgrims on Amarnath Yatra trail
Tristan Savatier/Moment Open/Getty Images

The famous Amarnath cave temple, one of the top caves in India, houses a Shiva lingam made out of ice. It's one of the toughest pilgrimages in India to visit it. Pilgrims must battle inclement weather, which makes the track slippery and dangerous, as well as very high altitude. My colleague, the About.com Guide to Hinduism, has essential information about Amarnath and information about the Amarnath yatra.

  • When: June 28-August 10, 2014.
  • Where: On Mount Amarnath, around 140 kilometers from Srinagar in Kashmir. There are two routes to the shrine -- 16 kilometers from Baltal in Ganderbal and the traditional 45 kilometers Pahalgam track in Anantnag district, approximately 3-4 hours drive from Srinagar.

3. Rath Yatra

Getty Images/Visage.

The exuberant 12 day Rath Yatra festival sees Lord Jagannath (a reincarnation of Lords Vishnu and Krishna), along with and his elder brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra, venture out of their abode in Puri's Jagannath Temple. The gods are transported on towering chariots. Discover how the chariots are made.

  • When: June 29-July 7, 2014.
  • Where: Jagannath Temple, Puri, Orissa.

4. Dree Festival

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Dree is an agricultural festival of the Apatani tribe. It's celebrated by sacrificial offerings and prayers to the gods who protect the crops. Folk songs, traditional dances, and other cultural performances have also become a part of the modern-day festivities.

  • When: July 3-6, 2014.
  • Where: Ziro, Arunachal Pradesh, northeast India.

5. Hemis Festival

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The two day Hemis Festival commemorates the birth of Guru Padmasambhava, who founded Tantric Buddhism in Tibet. There's traditional music, colorful masked dances, and a fair full of striking handicrafts.

  • When: July 7-8, 2014.
  • Where: Hemis Monastery, Leh, Ladakh

6. Champakulam Boat Race

Image: Kerala Tourism

The Champakulam Boat Race is the oldest snake boat race of Kerala. It's also the first boat race of the season. A stunning procession is enacted prior to the race taking place. It features exotic water floats, boats decorated with colorful parasols, and performing artists.

  • When: July 11, 2014.
  • Where: Pampa River at Champakulam, not far from Alleppey in Kerala.

7. Splash 2014

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The Splash monsoon carnival is back for the sixth year this year. It's a fabulous and fun opportunity to experience Wayanad during the monsoon season, and see the area's natural green beauty at this time of year. The carnival will consist of three action packed days of both outdoor and indoor events. Enticing accommodation packages are also on offer.

  • When: July 11-13, 2014.
  • Where: Hill District Club Kolagappara, Wayanad district, Kerala.

8. Guru Purnima

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This full moon day is celebrated in remembrance of the ancient sage Vyasa, who edited and wrote a number of holy Hindu scriptures. However, the idea behind Guru Purnima extends further than that. It's also a day for giving thanks to anyone who's taught you spiritual lessons in life. Many people simply spend some time reviewing all the knowledge they've acquired in the last year, and the way it's helped transformed them.

  • When: July 12, 2014.
  • Where: All over India, particularly in spiritual centers such as Sivananda Ashram, Rishikesh. One of the largest Guru Purnima festivals is held at Goverdhan, near Mathura.

9. Aanayoottu (Elephant Feeding Ritual)

Kerala Tourism
Elephants are usually seen decorated and paraded around during temple festivals in Kerala. However, during this elephant feeding ritual, they remain unadorned. Around 16 elephants are taken inside the temple premises and given a delicious feast of sugarcane leaves, coconut, jaggery and other local produce by people who come to worship them. The ritual aims to please Lord Ganesha, for the removal of obstacles and fulfillment of wishes.
  • When: July 17, 2014.
  • Where: Vadakkumnathan Temple, Thrissur, Kerala.

10. Teej Festival

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Palani Mohan / Getty Images.

The Teej festival is an important festival for women, and much anticipated monsoon festival. It commemorates the reunion of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Women apply henna to their hands and feet, get dressed up, and parade around. Artists such as folk singers and dancers follow the procession. Caparisoned elephants, bullock carts, and chariots add to the spectacle.

  • When: July 30-31, 2014.
  • Where: Rajasthan, particularly in Jaipur.

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